London’s got a stack of new offices - and they’re old shipping containers

Harriet Green
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Ideas and initiatives to help fledgling start-ups are here, there and everywhere in the capital, and nowhere more than in tech-abundant Shoreditch.

The area, which already has BoxPark - a row of pop-up shops in old shipping containers - is now home to ContainerVille - 30 converted shipping containers on the south bank of Regent’s Canal.

The novel offices offer low rent and minimal overhead workspaces for small businesses, close to East London Tech City, the third-largest start-up cluster in the world.

Set to be finished by the end of the month, The Estate Office Shoreditch’s concept is aimed at “dynamic young creatives” looking for a leg up when it comes to space to house their businesses.

The landlord firm, which has been working in and around Shoreditch since the mid-60s, offers a container for £1,200 per month.

Obviously they're completely transformed - think plush, serviceable pod, rather than big blue ship box. Each one can house five workers, and individual desks can be rented for £320 per person per month.

Shipping containers have been converted into homes and offices for some years now; what ContainerVille wants to offer is a sense of working life community.

It's designed to “create a dynamic hub of start-ups and small businesses, increasing opportunity for growth in a community of like-minded creatives working in proximity to one another”, The Estate Office explained.

Even the landscaping around the containers is “geared to promote collaborative working and integration, with shared outdoor areas overlooking the canal.”

Development manager Phil Bouette commented:

We are really excited about this new venture; we take a long-term view of property ownership and believe in offering flexibility to our tenants, whether they are longstanding establishments or fresh fast growth firms. We look forward to welcoming our first tenants in the next few weeks.